MEEKER I For a 13th time in Meeker High School’s wrestling history, the Cowboys finished second in the Colorado state wrestling tournament last year and this year they return six wrestlers with state experience and lots of confidence.
“We wrestled and finished well at state last year, which will give us a lot of confidence going into this year,” Meeker head coach J.C. Watt said.
One of the returning state placers for the Cowboys is senior T.J. Shelton, who will begin his quest to become the Meeker’s first, four-time individual state wrestling champion and only the 19th in the history of Colorado wrestling, when he steps on the mat Saturday in Grand Junction.
“It’s exciting for T.J., to have this opportunity,” coach Watt said. “T.J. has worked hard to get into this position, and he’s well deserving.”
Shelton will be joined by longtime workout partner and classmate Devon Pontine, who has qualified for the state tournament all three years and placed second as a sophomore and third last year.
Meeker juniors Sheridan Harvey, Casey Turner, Chase Rule and Tyler Ilgen were also state qualifiers last year. Harvey placed fifth last year and Turner was a runner-up, while Rule and Ilgen each won a match in the Big Show.
Seniors Dillon Frantz, Matt Devore and Sammy Palmer will also help provide leadership in their final year.
“We have some good strong leaders in the room,” coach Watt said.
The varsity Cowboys will open the season in Grand Junction at the Colorado Mesa University Duals, where they will wrestle five duals against mostly larger schools and the JV wrestlers will compete in a tournament in Olathe.
“It will be a good challenge for us, but we are excited to get started,” coach Watt said of the upcoming weekend and season.